By Antonio Porretta
A new year is often a time for fresh starts, intentional planning, and renewed motivation to conquer goals and accomplish things that are important to you. And after the year we just had, a fresh start is just what we need. As you transition into 2021 and all this year will bring, take some time to think about your long-term plans and reevaluate your decisions, especially in the following key areas.
Tax Strategy Planning
In the wake of a major election and a change in administration, questions naturally arise about how tax laws could change and how that will affect your wallet. If tax rates increase for your tax bracket, you may want to shift some of your savings allocations to tax-deferred vehicles such as a 401(k) or a traditional IRA. The recent stimulus bill contains several tax law changes, including the ability to roll forward unused FSA funds from 2020, (1) 100% deductible business meals, and penalty-free retirement plan withdrawals for families affected by declared disasters. (2) Because of how often new tax legislation is introduced, tax planning is not a one-and-done deal. Revisit your plan to make some shifts that will help you in the long run.
Tracking Retirement Funds
As we learned from the Great Recession, it is important to stay proactive when it comes to your cash flow and retirement funds. The temptation to adopt a “set it and forget it” approach can create financial blind spots, especially when the demands of work and family make it challenging to carve out time to review finances. If you have not kept track of your investment accounts, retirement plan balances, and other assets, commit to checking the pulse on the health of your family’s finances at least once a quarter, if not monthly.
Inadequate insurance coverage is a common issue that can derail retirement plans, especially in the event of unforeseen health problems or injuries that force individuals to retire early. A 2020 study found that only 54% of Americans have life insurance and 40% of policyholders reported that they wished they had obtained coverage sooner. (3) Life insurance policies are not all created equal, and many policies offer living benefits that you can draw from if you need help paying medical bills or other expenses. It’s prudent to make sure you have the proper policies and coverage for your unique situation.
Regularly reviewing your estate plan is a crucial component of your financial strategy. Life moves quickly, and it is all too easy to forget how much can happen in a short period of time. Arrivals of new children or grandchildren, health conditions, asset purchases or liquidations (such as buying a new home), marriage/divorce, retirement, unemployment, remarriage, and deaths in the family can make a significant impact on the big picture of your estate plan. Any time you experience a life change, make sure it is reflected in your estate plan.
Let Us Partner With You
As we look ahead to a new year, it’s wise to anticipate and prepare for the changes that every season of life brings. If you are ready to reassess your long-term goals or would like to discuss how to build a solid foundation for your future, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 704.960.9646 to schedule an appointment today!
Antonio Porretta is an independent wealth manager at Blackbridge Financial with over 20 years of experience. He specializes in helping people create, distribute, and preserve their wealth. Antonio received an executive MBA from Saunders College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology in 2007 and also holds the Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS®) designation. Originally from Rochester, NY, Antonio has been a resident of Harrisburg, NC, since 2007. Outside of work, he enjoys playing soccer and tennis, coaching, and spending time with his wife, Laura, and their children, Cristiano, Victoria, and Matteo. To learn more about Antonio and how he can make a difference in your financial life, visit www.blackbridgefinancial.com.
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Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Independent Advisor Alliance, a registered investment advisor. Independent Advisor Alliance and Blackbridge Financial are separate entities from LPL Financial.